American fans of Formula One racing will recall all too easily the debacle surrounding the USF1 team. A promising venture from the outset, the team started and stalled, but – after securing a slot on the grid for this season alongside newcomers HRT, Lotus and Virgin Racing – ultimately proved to have bitten off more than it could chew. Rather than pass the resulting vacancy on to any of the other bids waiting for their shot at the big league, the FIA has reportedly opted to leave the slot open for another year, with plans to reopen the bidding process later.

Among the potential teams to submit their proposals to run off and join the circus for next season were Cypher Group (another American entry), Nicolas Todt's ART Grand Prix (winner of several GP2 and F3 titles), Epsilon Euskadi (whose bid had been rejected in favor of USF1 last season) and a collaboration between former World Champion Jacques Villeneuve and the Durango GP2 team.

Impressive and compelling entries all, but the FIA's World Motor Sport Council ultimately decided that none of them were suitable to join next year's championship. A wise choice, perhaps, considering the trouble that this year's new entrants have been having trying to keep pace with the veterans, but undoubtedly disappointing for those hopefuls. Whether the bidding process will be reopened again for 2012 remains to be seen.

[Source: Autosport | Image: Goh Chai Hin/AFP/Getty]